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Man blows off own hands, builds new ones

A Chinese man builds a bomb to go blast fishing. It explodes unexpectedly and he loses his hands. He creates new ones for himself out of scrap metal.

Slate News Channel; YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Few would have mustered the optimism or the ingenuity.

But Sun Jifa didn't have the money to buy replacements. What else was he supposed to do but build his own?

Did Sun, 51, of Guanmashan, northern China, need new seats for his car or coffee tables for his living room? Not quite.

He needed new hands, after he'd blown off his own.

He'd built a bomb to go blast fishing and, well, it wasn't a very good bomb. It blew up before it was supposed to.

As the Daily Mail tells it, Sun spent 8 years piecing together scrap metal in order to create something that worked.

Of course, the idea of building new parts of yourself has progressed far beyond an old TV show like "The Six Million Dollar Man" or "The Bionic Woman."

All sorts of implantable and attachable devices are helping people live lives they never thought they could.

Yet Sun's achievement seems beyond all imagination. To build hands without yourself having any is an act of extraordinary will.

Sun makes it all sound so simple. The Mail quoted him as saying, "I control them with movements from my elbows, and I can work, love normally and feed myself just like anyone else."

There is, of course, a small drawback when your handiwork is made of scrap metal. It is very, very heavy. Sun admits that they can be tiring.

Still, he's decided that he should now go into business helping others who cannot afford to buy the more expensive versions.